Social distancing trembles amid Delhi earthquake

COVID-19 National

Several people came out on the streets, defying the lockdown, during the earthquake on Monday, in East Delhi, a hotspot for COVID-19 cases

By Yashasvini Razdan

Meenakshi Gujaral was sitting in her living room in Pitampura, sipping tea and talking to her son when she felt tremors. Her younger son ran out of the house, and soon a few other neighbours joined him on the street to confirm whether it really was an earthquake or not.

Several apartment blocks and societies witnessed flouting of social distancing norms by individuals when the earthquake struck Delhi on April 12, 2020.

“It was a mild earthquake, and it stopped within two minutes. I didn’t feel the tremors as much as I did when the Bhuj earthquake struck. I was waiting to run out if it continued for some more time. I called my children, but my younger son had already run out. Many people were already out on the street by then,” said Meenakshi.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director, General Satya Narayanan Pradhan tweeted that the earthquake measured 3.5 on the Richter scale.

Another resident of Pitampura, Sanjeev Arora, who lives in an apartment block, said that by the time he decided to run out, the tremors had subsided. “I came out on my balcony and saw that around 40 percent of the residents had come out of their homes,” he added.

Most of the sealed COVID-19 hotspots are in East Delhi, where the earthquake was felt the most. “Two people in my society were under quarantine from March 22, 2020 to April 10, 2020 as they had travelled to China. They were tested negative for COVID-19,” added Sanjeev.

Shiv Narayan Kulchania, a Geography (Hons.) graduate from Delhi University, explained the other methods of protecting oneself during an earthquake. “Delhi comes under the seismic zone IV. On average, our infrastructure can handle an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale. This earthquake measured 3.5 on the Richter scale and in the current situation it is not possible to go out without wearing proper masks. In that moment of emergency the best thing would be to lie down under a strong and sturdy table or bed. If that is not available, one can go into the corners of the room where there isn’t any heavy furniture or glass windows,” he said.

Feature Image credits: Prakriti Guglani


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